E-cigarette safety is something that has been making the rounds in the news. Between January 2009 to December 31, 2016, 195 separate incidents of explosion and fire caused by an electronic cigarette were reported in the media. In some cases fatalities were even reported.1
In this post we will cover what is an e-cigarette, what they look like and cost, how they work, cause of e-cigarette explosions, and while we do not recommend it if you must some tips to safely use an e-cigarette.
What is an E-Cigarette?
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that produce a heated vapor that resembles smoke, and is inhaled; similar to a tobacco cigarette. These devices have become very popular as an alternative to smoking, including with a growing number of individuals who have never been smokers, but who enjoy the many flavors and/or the experience of using e-cigarettes.2 After discussing what an e-cigarette is we will now touch on what they look like, as well as what they cost.
What do They Look Like? How Much Do they Cost?
E-cigarette designs vary greatly. Some resemble a traditional cigarette, cigar or pipe, while others resemble a flashlight, or a small pack of cigarettes with a protruding tube. Figure 1 shows three common, commercially available devices. Now that we have touched on the cost of purchasing e-cigarettes, we will talk about how they work.
How do they work?
The devices have an electric heating element to vaporize a liquid solution. Solutions (also called juice) usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol (increases flavor), vegetable glycerin (increases vapor), nicotine, and flavorings. Some juices provide flavored vapor without nicotine. Figure 2 shows the main parts that mke up every e-cigarette or vaporizer. Now that the mechanics behind how e-cigarettes work we will move onto what causes e-cigarettes to explode.
What Causes an E-Cigarette Explosion?
While the exact cause of such incidents isn’t clear, there is evidence that suggests its battery related. Since the current generation of lithium-ion batteries is the root cause of these incidents, it is clear that these batteries are not a safe source of energy for these devices. These explosions can cause fire damage so taking precautions is a must!
Now that we have discussed the cause of e-cigarette explosions, we will discuss some safety tips for using an e-cigarette.
E-cigarette Safety Tips
To avoid injury when using an e-cigarette these are some recommended tips for safe use:
1Consider using e-cigarette devices with safety features such as firing button locks, vent holes, and protection against overcharging.
3Don’t charge your device overnight or leave it charging unattended.
4Replace the batteries if they get damaged or wet.
5Make sure you read and understand the manufacturer’s recommendations for use.
6Only use batteries recommended for your device. Don’t mix different brands of batteries.
7Protect your device from extreme temperatures. Do not leave in direct sunlight or leave in your car in freezing winter weather.
Now that we have touched on the main points listed above we want to leave you with some concluding facts about e-cigarette use.
In order to reduce the frequency of e-cigarette fires and explosions, the following recommendations should be considered:
- Look for the UL mark on the product and packaging.
- Do not use lithium-ion batteries in e-cigarettes.
In conclusion at Restoration Authority our customers safety is our top priority. When used improperly these factors can lead to an e-cigarette explosion causing fire damage. We hope that you found the above information useful as well as tips on how to safely use an e-cigarette. While e-cigarettes are still relatively new, there are still safety precautions that consumers can take.